2021: Lessons Learned

Premier Reverse Closings

10 takeaways from 2021

Looking back at 2021 we see the continued impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic that not only transformed the way we work but heavily influenced our economy. Here are my takeaways from lessons learned this year.

  1. 2021 endorsements surged thanks to record levels of HECM-to-HECM refinances. FHA’s annual report to Congress reported 46.8 percent of HECM endorsements in the fiscal year 2021 were refinances of existing HECM loans.
  2. Foreclosure forbearances and eviction moratoriums were extended far beyond what anyone could have anticipated.
  3. The housing market didn’t crash nor did home values drop considerably as 4 in 10 Americans believed.
  4. The repeated warnings of inflation broadcast on our weekly series The Industry Leader Update were warranted. Today the annual rate of inflation is nearing 7 percent.
  5. FHA responded well to the pandemic providing for exterior-only appraisals and improved technology to reduce operational interruptions.
  6. Nearly one million older homeowners 65 and older are at risk of foreclosure.
  7. HECM-to-HECM refinances persisted much longer than anticipated.
  8. Appraisal delays were not due to a shortage of appraisers, but rather a spike in HECM application activity that surpassed appraiser capacity.
  9. FHA’s report to Congress reminded us that the economic performance of the HECM program is dependent on factors outside our industry’s control such as home price appreciation and interest rates.
  10. The party is over. Historically-low interest rates will end soon impacting traditional and reverse mortgage lending in 2022.

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